Sound the klaxon: The Disney+/Hulu purge has begun.
The disturbing trend of streaming originals and exclusives being yoinked, yeeted, and quietly memory-holed off the very platforms that hosted them continues apace at the House of Mouse, Deadline reports.
The latest round of streaming shows to get the Red Wedding treatment includes 80s throwback revivals Turner & Hooch and Willow, which was still releasing new episodes as recently as March this year (and was believed by even the showrunners to be on hiatus rather than cancelled); The World According To Jeff Goldblum; Dollface; National Geographic co-produced ebola drama The Hot Zone; and last year's viscerally animated Little Demon, starring Danny DeVito and Aubrey Plaza. (The full list of cut shows can be found below.)
It also includes Y: The Last Man, an adaptation of the beloved Image graphic novel series that finally made it to screens after years of development hell and COVID production delays only to be unceremoniously cancelled before the first season had even finished airing. Showrunner Eliza Clark tweeted a bleak summary of her journey with the short-lived show:
All these titles will be removed on May 26.
Streamers rarely share their true rationale for dumping completed content from their platforms, but it's plainly a cost-cutting measure. Hosting even years-old content comes with ongoing expenses related to everything from server space to licensing and residuals; Warner Bros. Discovery, which owns HBO Max (soon to be Max), is the most notable offender, notoriously nixing WB's Batgirl movie before it was even out of post-production and yanking other shows off streaming completely, reportedly as tax writedowns.
Older titles leaving a particular streamer is something that happens all the time as licensing deals shift and shuffle content between different platforms, but companies ditching their own bought-and-paid-for content that's unlikely to find a new home elsewhere online — let alone on physical media — is a darker trend. Creators are left with with essentially nothing to show for their years of work.
They're not entirely alone, as it's been a year of belt-tightening for Disney across the board — thousands of jobs have been eliminated across divisions in a massive restructure. And even as the Writers Guild strikes for better pay and job security, which have both suffered in the era of peak streaming as residuals and other payments linger at significantly lower rates than network under ageing agreements, streamers are largely pivoting from boosting subscriber numbers with an embarrassment of content riches to boosting shareholder profits with cost cutting.
A Spark Story
Be Our Chef
Best In Dough
Best In Snow
Cheaper by the Dozen
Diary of a Future President
Disney Fairy Tale Weddings
Earth To Ned
It’s a Dog’s Life With Bill Farmer
Love In The Time Of Corona
Marvel’s Project Hero
Marvel’s Voices Rising: The Music of Wakanda Forever
The Hot Zone
The Making Of Willow
The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers
The Mysterious Benedict Society
The One And Only Ivan
The World According To Jeff Goldblum
Weird but True!
Y: The Last Man
UPDATE: May. 19, 2023, 1:29 p.m. AEST This story has been updated to include further titles on the chopping block, as reported by Deadline.